Next year I am going to look back and be utterly mortified that I chose this ridiculous photo to commemorate my turning 40, but you know what? Get a grip, next-year-me. I liked my face on this particular day and was feeling goofy and fun, and what’s wrong with that, anyhow? I mean, you’d almost think that we live in a world where we are trained to hate the way we look and should feel ashamed to feel decent about ourselves every once in a blue moon, but, naaaahhh… that couldn’t possibly be true, could it?
Oh–shit! There I am again! “What’s with this broad?” you may be wondering. “Can’t she keep her goddamned face to herself? HA and NO. Not today, face-haters. Not today.
And anyway, isn’t it great, this world we live in? Where we can look at our friend’s wonderful faces every day, even when we’re a million miles apart? I love all of your gorgeous, goofy mugs. Thanks for tolerating mine.
In a fit of extravagance, I had ordered some birthday gifts for myself over a month and a half ago and I figured that would give them plenty of time to arrive, but one piece is custom & hand-made and the others were ordered during a highly anticipated sale, so I suppose I should have known better. Still, it was kind of a bummer, as I had hoped I would have them in time for a birthday weekend extravaganza where everyone could ooh and ahh over them and I could bask in the warm glow of strangers thinking I have exceptional taste. Ah, well. Such problems we should all have.
Instead, I received a very unexpected, thoroughly marvelous parcel from a dear friend, full of extraordinary magics. First: a chocolate birthday Babka! Isn’t it gorgeous? I could have gazed rapturously upon its gently-spiced, sweetly-yeasted, chocolatey visage all day long, but I had to eat it eventually, you know. I hope you’ll not think less of me for that.
And a piece of embroidery from YourGothicGranny! I nearly cried with laughter when I saw the phrase embroidered in those sweet, delicate stitches, “a lonely flute in the fog of yourself”. This ridiculous translation of a French perfume’s description had us in stitches a few weeks ago, if you’ll pardon the pun, and I love that I will forever have a reminder of its absurdity! Even if the fragrance itself turned out to be completely unmemorable.
And what’s this! Some original art from my insanely talented parter-in-crime, Becky Munich (and rumor has it that you will see this piece–and others–in a highly anticipated, forthcoming Gothic zine!) And a tee-shirt that she designed for Sabbath Assembly, an unearthly, unsettling purveyor of dark, freaky sounds.
Speaking of music, lovely Sasha gifted me a copy of her band’s new release, Emerald Posies! “With the mercurial force of an ancient spell, Suspirea burst into existence fully formed. Singer/guitarist Sasha Soukup & Cellist Bluebird Gaia rallied together & immediately started creating their own musical witches brew. The ingredients are simple: girl-group harmonies, gothic menace, traditional folk songs & a dash of progressive weirdness.” Doesn’t that sound amazing? I am so excited to give it a listen!
And lastly: CATS. From my darling BGF. Because of course!
(…also: not pictured is the beautiful mortar and pestle set from my beloved for the grinding of spices and the making of garlic paste. And a really cooler muddler/shaker for the creation of fancy cocktails!)
On Friday night we drove into Orlando for a screening of Gothic at Carmine Boutique. Ken Russell’s frenzied, hallucinatory depiction of that infamous night at the Villa Diodati is a film dear to my heart. That baby-faced Julian Sands! Claire Claremont’s frizzy halo of hair! The outrageously diabolical Lord Byron! I love all of it and it was such a treat to see it again, especially in what has become one of my favorite strange & unsual places to visit in central Florida!
On Saturday night we attended the Florence + The Machine performance at the Amway Arena. Normally I avoid venues like this. Too many people, too crowded, parking is too much of a production, etc., etc. I don’t like asking anyone to go to that sort of trouble for me. But I did this time around and I am very glad that I did. For such an enormous arena, it was a surprisingly intimate show…and what a whirling dervish she was! What a magical, transcendent voice.
I wept when she took the stage and opened with What The Water Gave Me. I remembered where I was when I heard it for the first time–6 years ago, still in NJ, trapped in a town that was flooded and under water for a week– and how miserable I was, but also how the song moved me, shook me, changed me. And this weekend I heard it performed live by Florence herself, in the company of those I love best in this world. And I rejoiced. I was resplendently happy, so much so, that I could not contain my happiness. It flowed down my cheeks and dripped off my chin and I was grateful for it. For all of it, and everything.
For moving waters and changes and love. So much love.
Thanks everyone, for loving me so damn much. I know it sounds cheesy, but I am gonna put it out there, anyhow–40 is going to be a fantastic year.